Everything You Need to Know about SBA Loans


Getting an SBA loan can be fairly simple—especially if you have the right banking partner on your side.

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Kevin Gallagher, SVP-Group Leader, SBA at Dime Community Bank.

Photo by: Dime Community Bank

Small Business Administration loans, or SBA loans, are one of the best ways a company can get the funding they need to start, run, or enhance their business. SBA loans are government guaranteed loans for businesses that may not qualify for traditional business loans. 
There are three different types of SBA loans, each with their own advantages and limits:
  • 7(a) loans, which provide working capital for a wide variety of uses. 7(a) loans are great because they require a low down payment, have flexible terms, and affordable variable interest rates. 
  • 504 loans, which are longer-term fixed rate loans mainly used for owner-occupied real estate and equipment purchases. You can get up to 90% financing for your building or equipment. 504 loans have low down payments and variable interest rates.
  • SBA Express loans, which provide up to $350,000 to help extend a company’s credit line. With these loans, you’ll get a decision on it within 36 hours. So if you need capital quickly, an SBA Express loan might be right for you. 
But wait a minute—it’s a government loan. Shouldn’t it come with a bunch of red tape? Not necessarily. Despite what you might think, getting an SBA loan can be fairly simple—especially if you have the right banking partner on your side. 
“You want to work with a PLP, or preferred lender program, partner that has the authority to underwrite, approve, close, and service loans under the SBA,” explains Kevin Gallagher, SVP-Group Leader, SBA at Dime Community Bank, and an expert on all things SBA. “You want someone who will take the time to understand your business as well as you do. What your company does, what the loan money will be used for. At Dime, that’s what we do best.”
Kevin and his team are committed to working with companies to gain their SBA loans. Like recommending that you start with a good business and financial plan. This is the best way to show the SBA that you’re serious about your business and your plans for the future. “Start by going to your local Small Business Development Center. They can help build the financial plans you need to make a good impression.”
After you have your business plan in order, that’s when you should come to a bank. Together, you and the bank will decide which SBA loan is right for your business. From there, it’s the bank’s job to manage the process. 
Kevin has worked hard to streamline his teams’ approval process so you don’t wait long for an answer. And since Dime is a PLP partner, the process goes even quicker. 
His dedicated team is comprised of SBA loan veterans, many with more than 20 years of experience. And most of that experience is right here in the New York and New Jersey markets. “People know us here,” Kevin says, “the entire department is actively engaged in the process.” 
When asked what advice Kevin has for SBA loan applicants, he said it’s important to go in with both eyes open. “You have to work hard to make it work for you.” And finding the right SBA loan partner, who will work as hard as you to achieve your goals, makes all the difference in the world. 
If you’re looking to start your own small business, or are an established business in need of extra capital, and want to talk to Kevin and his team about SBA loans, reach out to an SBA specialist today